USA: Controversy over album cover with photo of World Trade Center attack




Controversy over album cover
with photo of World Trade Center attack

The cover of Steve Reich’s new album ‘WTC 9/11’ stirred up such controversy that he asked the publishing company, Nonesuch, to withdraw the image. Nonesuch complied.

When advance publicity unveiled the cover art in early August 2011, a month before the CD’s scheduled release, a small but intense blast of indignation ensued via blogs, Twitter and newspapers. The cover art allegedly ‘commercialized’ the tragedy of the 9/11 terror attack and was therefore declared ‘despicable’.

Composer Phil Kline, quoted in a number of sources, said that the cover art which shows an airplane approaching the Twin Towers was “the first truly despicable album cover that I have ever seen.”

“As a composer I want people to listen to my music without something distracting them. The present cover of WTC 9/11 will, for many, act as a distraction from listening and so, with the gracious agreement of Nonesuch, the cover is being changed,” stated Steve Reich who is among the best known of the American minimalist composers. His commemorative composition was recorded by the Kronos Quartet.

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The self-censored album cover

(Yes, you may click on it if you’d like to take a closer look)

The new cover

Steve Reich

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Nonesuch – 20 July 2011:

‘Steve Reich’s “WTC 9/11” Album Cover Revealed’

Washington Times blog by Terry Ponick – 11 September 2011:

‘Censoring Steve Reich’s 9/11 vision’

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